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Thread: Concussion, Dementia and Rugby

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    Default Concussion, Dementia and Rugby

    A number of former rugby union players are suing governing bodies of rugby union for negligence, after developing early symptoms of dementia, attributed to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by repetitive small knocks to the brain over time.

    It will be a difficult case to prove, as there would be no 'control' case to compare with, but some American football players secured a settlement from the NFL for the same issue to the tune of around $1bn. And the FA is facing a similar bout of legal action

    The repercussions for both kinds of rugby would potentially be huge.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55201237
    I f*cking hate wi*an. And rugby yawnion. And Tories. And Brexit f*ckwits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    A number of former rugby union players are suing governing bodies of rugby union for negligence, after developing early symptoms of dementia, attributed to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by repetitive small knocks to the brain over time.

    It will be a difficult case to prove, as there would be no 'control' case to compare with, but some American football players secured a settlement from the NFL for the same issue to the tune of around $1bn. And the FA is facing a similar bout of legal action

    The repercussions for both kinds of rugby would potentially be huge.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55201237
    I agree with the action they are taking, at the end of the day the sport’s governing body is ultimately responsible for this, even though the evidence has really only been proven in the last 15 years.

    What the RFU and World Rugby have done on this issue is try and take a zero tolerance approach to high tackles, shoulder charges and other contacts to the head, with only mitigating factors taken in to account to reduce the punishment from the default of a red card, they are forcing players to tackle lower, protecting the head of the attacking player.

    Can we say that the RFL are trying to do the same, think of the Maloney tackle in the semi final, this would have been a straight red in Union, but was only given as a yellow, or the Greenwood one a couple of weeks before, i get we dont want games to finish 11 v 10 but if you heavily penalised high shots the players would quickly change their technique and tackle lower, as a result of that you open up the offload game and have a quicker game as a result, creating a better product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webbo Again View Post
    A number of former rugby union players are suing governing bodies of rugby union for negligence, after developing early symptoms of dementia, attributed to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by repetitive small knocks to the brain over time.

    It will be a difficult case to prove, as there would be no 'control' case to compare with, but some American football players secured a settlement from the NFL for the same issue to the tune of around $1bn. And the FA is facing a similar bout of legal action

    The repercussions for both kinds of rugby would potentially be huge.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55201237
    I am sure that there will be a big clampdown on any tackle deemed dangerous next season whether it's only to the upper body and rides upwards or not. Union have already clamped down hard on it. Most of us started watching the game years ago and loved the "biff and bash" that went with it, but now the game is played with so much more intensity and ferocity in the tackle that it makes sense for player welfare to be considered a priority. A lot of our heros from the sixties, past and present are in poor shape now probably due to taking one head shot too many. I've just been reading about Shontayne Hape who says he struggles to remember what happened yesterday. I'm not sure whether suing the governing body for past history is going to help though, as it was a different game then. Don't particularly want to make an issue of it but that tackle on Fages was a classic example of a borderline tackle which ended up being a headshot, not a deliberate foul but not taking enough care.

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    The RFL have been far too slow and inconsistent to address the problem, I wonder if there will be a shared responsibility on the offending player and the officials who give too much tolerance on the offence.

    McBanana will no doubt say he can't see a problem with the current situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    The RFL have been far too slow and inconsistent to address the problem, I wonder if there will be a shared responsibility on the offending player and the officials who give too much tolerance on the offence.

    McBanana will no doubt say he can't see a problem with the current situation.
    I've only quickly scanned the article, but I noticed a mention of neck injuries and lots of scrums for these Union lads.
    If similar action was threatened in RL, perhaps part of the sports defence would be the significant reduction in scrums (whenever that was), and, because the way the rules work, most of those scrums that still happen are not contested?
    They could also point to the fact that head high tackles are illegal. Refs missing them is a slightly different issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    They could also point to the fact that head high tackles are illegal. Refs missing them is a slightly different issue.
    On the flip side of that players could argue that the lack of stringent punishment for the ones the refs do see is not good enough and contributes to the number of high shots, most arent even punished with a sin bin. Its on the RFL to have strong enough punishment in place for those who break the rules and they need to put the onus on the player making the tackle to do it safely, they have started to do that with the crusher tackle, why not with high shots?

    At the end of the day we have video referees in place at all games, why cant they have more of a say in spotting high shots, i get that this may be expensive and hard to facilitate easily, but the costs of a lawsuit like this one could be astronomical, surely a bit of an expense is worth the players welfare.

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    There was a case last season if I remember correctly concerning ASM (Clermont Auvergne). If I recall correctly, ASM didn't put up much of a fight over compensation as they recognised the damage that had been done through the player's career and focused on improving how they looked after their current and future squads so they could lessen the chances of another player suffering the same in the future. I'll try to dig out the reports when I get chance though as I recall most of them were in French in Midi Olympique etc.

    To be honest, even the GAA which is amateur is ahead of the game compared to rugby league. Helmets have been compulsory for all players in hurling and camogie for a long time now.

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    As the ace protagonist for head tackles retired after the Grand Final , shouldn't be such a problem now

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    I've only quickly scanned the article, but I noticed a mention of neck injuries and lots of scrums for these Union lads.
    If similar action was threatened in RL, perhaps part of the sports defence would be the significant reduction in scrums (whenever that was), and, because the way the rules work, most of those scrums that still happen are not contested?
    They could also point to the fact that head high tackles are illegal. Refs missing them is a slightly different issue.
    Yes, I've just watched the news and a medical sporting body mentioned low impact trauma of a consistent nature and they were pointing towards the direction Union take using scrummage machines in training techniques as a possible contribution to the problem. Maybe its more prevalent in Union because it must be also a problem with constant prolonged rucks were they plough in head first.

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    One player that stands out to me that will most likely be effected is George North.

    At one time, that lad couldnt have a gust of wind hit him in the face without him getting knocked out and having some form of concussion issue.


    Scrummaging in RU now is ridiculous.

    https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/mo...s-size-forces/

    These figures are from 2017 but its scary. The England Pack was 936kg the next was Wales with 921kg.

    So when them two packs collides/collapses , there is almost 2 tons being shifted about.


    This weekends game between Argentina and Australia saw 2 players sin binned for attacking the break down , trying to dislodge the defender from the ruck, by using the shoulder and it striking the head.

    Both reviewed by the TMO and the Ref.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkers89 View Post
    One player that stands out to me that will most likely be effected is George North...
    I struggle to name a Union player (I had to Google him), but it does remind me of my thoughts a few years back about Rob Burrow, who always seemed to be out on the floor!
    I know it's not the same illness, but it does make me wonder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    I struggle to name a Union player (I had to Google him), but it does remind me of my thoughts a few years back about Rob Burrow, who always seemed to be out on the floor!
    I know it's not the same illness, but it does make me wonder.
    Gareth O’Brien got done twice in about 3 weeks when playing for us if I remember correctly. I remember North getting knocked out in a game and carrying on, heres the link to the video, https://youtu.be/KCWO3i6hVwM. Hes had roughly one a year, you wonder what damage he has done to his brain during his career, and thats with the laws as tight as they are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsepho View Post
    On the flip side of that players could argue that the lack of stringent punishment for the ones the refs do see is not good enough and contributes to the number of high shots, most arent even punished with a sin bin. Its on the RFL to have strong enough punishment in place for those who break the rules and they need to put the onus on the player making the tackle to do it safely, they have started to do that with the crusher tackle, why not with high shots?

    At the end of the day we have video referees in place at all games, why cant they have more of a say in spotting high shots, i get that this may be expensive and hard to facilitate easily, but the costs of a lawsuit like this one could be astronomical, surely a bit of an expense is worth the players welfare.
    This is where we are at, and where we should be going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkers89 View Post
    One player that stands out to me that will most likely be effected is George North.

    At one time, that lad couldnt have a gust of wind hit him in the face without him getting knocked out and having some form of concussion issue.


    Scrummaging in RU now is ridiculous.

    https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/mo...s-size-forces/

    These figures are from 2017 but its scary. The England Pack was 936kg the next was Wales with 921kg.

    So when them two packs collides/collapses , there is almost 2 tons being shifted about.


    This weekends game between Argentina and Australia saw 2 players sin binned for attacking the break down , trying to dislodge the defender from the ruck, by using the shoulder and it striking the head.

    Both reviewed by the TMO and the Ref.
    Union scrums are much better refereed than they used to be and there's a whole process to setting them up these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    Union scrums are much better refereed than they used to be and there's a whole process to setting them up these days.
    Plus there’s no ‘hit’ on the engage now which takes out some of the impact and leads to less quick collapses.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Another issue with this is the cynical use of the HIA substitution by Warrington and others to get a free sub. This leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

    We need some sort of fair play code all teams sign up to so when someone goes off with a Head injury and the subsequent video shows that there was no head contact a lengthy ban should ensue. Or more than one HIA in four weeks and a two week rest (or something like that)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    Another issue with this is the cynical use of the HIA substitution by Warrington and others to get a free sub. This leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

    We need some sort of fair play code all teams sign up to so when someone goes off with a Head injury and the subsequent video shows that there was no head contact a lengthy ban should ensue. Or more than one HIA in four weeks and a two week rest (or something like that)
    I think the HIA substitution is being done backwards, the current system is open to abuse, maybe if the substitution counted if the player passed their HIA and not if they failed it wouldnt be able to be abused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wee Waa Womble View Post
    Plus there’s no ‘hit’ on the engage now which takes out some of the impact and leads to less quick collapses.
    I've long thought that the greatest risk in union scrums now is more on the neck in a situation where one collapses. At least in terms of where the most severe, life-changing injury could occur. It would be a freak accident to a certain extent but the potential imo is there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostik Bailey View Post
    Another issue with this is the cynical use of the HIA substitution by Warrington and others to get a free sub. This leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

    We need some sort of fair play code all teams sign up to so when someone goes off with a Head injury and the subsequent video shows that there was no head contact a lengthy ban should ensue. Or more than one HIA in four weeks and a two week rest (or something like that)
    At the same time, the authorities need to be careful not to introduce any rule changes or conditions that could discourage genuine HIA from being called.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    I've long thought that the greatest risk in union scrums now is more on the neck in a situation where one collapses. At least in terms of where the most severe, life-changing injury could occur. It would be a freak accident to a certain extent but the potential imo is there.
    It is yes, but with the ‘hit’ on the engage you had a very quick collapse which is where the biggest risk for neck injuries was. Now you still get collapses but they tend to be slower and almost more controlled as you can position yourself properly before the push comes, plus with how low to the floor props are already they can flatten themselves to be lying on their front rather than bent in half. You may still get neck injuries but the risk reduced and I personally feel scrums are a lot safer.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    At the same time, the authorities need to be careful not to introduce any rule changes or conditions that could discourage genuine HIA from being called.
    I know if every club played it straight then there would be no issue, the current HIA rule would be OK, but the grubby clubs have seen this as a way of gaming a free substitution.

    Incidents like we saw this season past where a player drops down holding his head when there is clearly no head contact need to be addressed. Or just Chris Hill having a HIA almost every match.

    The clubs (coaches) need to be made aware of the reasons behind the HIA substitution and to game it for a free sub is the lowest of the low, since it is putting genuine incidents under more un-necessary scrutiny.

    Any rule that is put in place to improve player welfare in this respect will be pushed by the likes of Steve Price to gain an advantage.

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    Just watched a piece on the BBC, they say it's down to a lot of 'little' knocks to the head. Seemingly that'll be down to a lot more scrums and rucks which will be more common, rather than tackling..

    In league there's literally been no impact in scrums for at least 25 years

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    Closer to home, Darrell Goulding and Lance Hohaiah both retired due to the effects of concussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Feelgood View Post
    Closer to home, Darrell Goulding and Lance Hohaiah both retired due to the effects of concussion.
    Yes but Hohaia’s was due to attempted GBH rather than the wear and tear of rugby.
    Forwards win games. The backs decide by how much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulscnthorpe View Post
    Just watched a piece on the BBC, they say it's down to a lot of 'little' knocks to the head. Seemingly that'll be down to a lot more scrums and rucks which will be more common, rather than tackling..

    In league there's literally been no impact in scrums for at least 25 years
    Not wishing to brush any issue with league under the carpet ,but if you look at RU, the players tend to join the ruck ‘head down’ to bind in, in NFL they also tend to tackle /block ‘head down’. In league the defenders and ball carrier tends to be head up to keep the ball carrier on his feet so you can control the speed of the play the ball.

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